In an attempt to boost engagement on Facebook, Meta has shared some details about how the platform’s algorithm works — and how creators can play by its rules to grow their Facebook accounts.
So, what’s new? In a nutshell: Distribution.
Facebook has added an extra filter to the algorithm when it comes to how it decides who sees what content:
“ At Facebook, we do this by asking four questions:
- What content has been posted? What posts are available from friends, other creators and Pages that we can show?
- Who might like this content? We consider a multitude of signals such as who posted the content, when it was posted, what was the topic and past user behavior, among others.
- How likely are people to engage with the post? We try to predict how likely a given person is to engage with your post and find it meaningful. We make a variety of these predictions for each piece of content.
- How interested will the audience be in this post? Based on all of the data we have gathered on the post, which pieces of content should get priority?”
Question 4 (focused on audience interest) is the newest addition. But what’s the difference between engagement (addressed in question 3) and audience interest?
Facebook has previously been criticized for over-prioritizing engagement in its algorithms. In the last few years, content that was likely to get a reaction from people (positive or negative) became more visible in feeds, often in the form of polarizing news articles.
With the new emphasis on audience interest, people will see more of what they like on Facebook — and, potentially, less engagement bait.
In the announcement, Meta highlighted one more change to how they serve up content on the platform:
“There are two ways your content can be seen on Facebook:
- Connected Distribution: Your posts are seen by those who follow you on Facebook. This is your core audience on the platform.
- Unconnected Distribution: Your posts are seen by those who don’t follow you, but may be interested in your content. This type of distribution can come through other users sharing and resharing your posts or from our recommendations in our ‘Suggested for You’ sections.
Facebook initially started as a way to connect exclusively with your friends and family – connected distribution. Now, we enable you to reach a much wider audience to help you grow beyond the sphere of those you know directly – unconnected distribution.”
The shift to unconnected content distribution echoes what Meta has been testing across all their platforms. The company is trying to make the shift from social networking to entertainment. In simple terms, Meta wants to be more like TikTok.
How will all these changes help businesses and content creators trying to build a presence on Facebook? Meta provides 3 simple tips for “fully taking advantage of unconnected distribution”
- Make Original Content: Creators receive the greatest distribution when they primarily post content that is filmed or created by them. Original content contains your unique voice and demonstrates the unique perspective you bring to Facebook. Original content is distinctive, engaging, and is what our users prefer.
- Optimize for shares: Make content that other users want to share. This kind of content can spark meaningful dialogue, respectful discussion and attracts more likes and reactions.
- Get Recommended: Make sure your content complies with our integrity rules and guidelines for recommended content. These guidelines outline what we will and won’t recommend.
Original, engaging content is the key to success. But hasn’t it always been? The big difference now is in who Meta is showing that content to.
This is only the first part in a 3-part series from Meta. We will continue to analyze this Meta for Creators series for new insights, tactics, and strategies for all of Meta’s platforms.
Learn more about how to get the most from your Facebook content below: